Session Date: 
Oct 16, 2021

Technology is clearly central to human life and evolution but remains hard to define and study. This talk is an evolutionarily motivated definition of technology that highlights three key features: material production, social collaboration, and cultural reproduction. The broad scope encompassed by this definition respects the complexity of the subject but poses a challenge for theoretical unification. Addressing this challenge requires a comparative approach to reduce the diversity of real-world technological cognition to a smaller number of recurring processes and relationships. To this end, a synthetic Perceptual Motor Hypothesis for the evolutionary-developmental-cultural construction of technological cognition is advanced as a target for further investigation. This perspective has important implications for the way we conceptualize and study the origins and evolution of human technologies.

File 2021_10_16_10_Stout.mp4802.08 MB